SOUTHWICK, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Many local places received email threats Thursday including Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee and Southwick.

None of the threats turned out to be credible but in some cases, the email asked for money in bitcoin.

Bomb threats were sent to many businesses across the country Thursday, including the Freedom Credit Union on Main Street in Springfield and a computer company in Southwick.

"You never know, I mean we can say we're almost positive it's a hoax as it has been across the country. I believe 16 states have been affected by this, but you just don't know so you can't take any chances," said Southwick Police Detective Sgt. Tom Krutka.

Over in Holyoke, police said a company in the city's 'flats neighborhood' received a threat before 2 p.m.

In Chicopee, the city's housing authority was targeted but nothing was found.

In Southwick, Whalley Computers was targeted and in that case, the email demanded money in bitcoin.

"Demanding 20,000 in bitcoin or they are going to blow up the building at the end of the day. We did get notified earlier that this was going on," Sgt. Krutka added.

Stan Prager with Go Geeks in East Longmeadow said bitcoin is a type of crypto-currency gaining popularity.

"A lot of legitimate places actually accept bit coin as payment. It's not unusual. On the other hand though, it's typically become the go to currency for criminals," Prager explained.

With Thursday's emailed threats, Prager noted that criminals have found a way to personalize what they want from you.

"So now they've taken this death threat email and they've customized it for an organization," Prager added.

"What's interesting about it is the fact that so many people believe this to be real and I think that sometimes real life is behind technology," Prager continued.

State Police are now putting together a list of all impacted businesses and handing it over to the FBI.

State Police are asking everyone to remain vigilant if you get an odd message or see something suspicious, report it to police.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

Digital Content Manager



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